Posted on July 24, 2023
Col. Nichols Melin will assume command of the Pittsburgh District on August 4.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District will transfer leadership during a Change of Command ceremony Friday, Aug. 4, at 10:30 a.m. at the Senator John Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh.
Colonel Adam Czekanski, commander of the Pittsburgh District since July 2021, will transfer command to Colonel Nicholas Melin during a traditional military ceremony. Major General William Graham, Deputy Commanding General for Civil Works and Emergency Operations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters, will preside over the ceremony.
The Change of Command ceremony symbolizes the continuation of leadership and unit identity. It represents the transfer of responsibility and authority from one individual to another while continuing the mission. The ceremonial passing of the unit colors from the departing commander to the incoming commander physically represents the transfer of authority.
“I had the honor of commanding truly great people who give their best for the betterment of our district,” said Czekanski. “As a commander, I’m thankful for my role in bringing people together for a common goal and earning the trust of those we serve. I’m excited to see the district continue its standard of excellence under new leadership.”
Melin comes to the Pittsburgh District following an assignment as the division chief for Oceania, South, and Southeast Asia in the Directorate for Strategy, Plans, and Policy (J-5) on the Joint Staff. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Mechanical Engineering from West Point, a Master of Military Art and Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College, a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from Madras University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Science from Oxford University. Melin served in key leadership positions such as commanding a Security Force Assistance Battalion. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Missouri.
As commander and district engineer, Melin will lead the Pittsburgh District in delivering integrated solutions that minimize risk and enhance reliability for the region’s water resource infrastructure while improving the environment. The Pittsburgh District covers an area of approximately 26,000 square miles comprising the upper Ohio River Basin and extending into five states: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and New York.
The district supports commercial navigation on the upper Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela rivers, operating and maintaining 23 locks and dams. Pittsburgh’s flood-damage reduction mission encompasses 16 multi-purpose reservoirs that have prevented an estimated $866 million in flood damages during 2022. The district’s flood-risk management portfolio also includes more than 80 local flood protection projects, which have prevented more than $5.3 billion in flood damages during their lifetime.